BY Ian Dunn | February 29 | comments icon 2 COMMENTS     print icon print

HUMAN-FETUS

Catholic midwives cannot exercise conscience on abortion

Breaking News: Court of Session in Edinburgh rules that Greater Glasgow and Clyde Health Board is not infringing on midwives' human rights by not allowing them to conscientiously object to a supervisory role. Full report in this week's SCO

The Court of Session in Edinburgh has ruled that midwives can be forced to supervise the carrying out of abortions.

Judge Lady Smith today rejected the case brought by Catholic midwives Mary Doogan, 57, and Concepta Wood, 51, who hold supervisory positions in the labour ward of Glasgow’s Southern General Hospital. The women claimed that being made to oversee staff involved in abortions was a breach of their human rights.

In her ruling, Lady Smith said the 1967 Abortion Act allowed only qualified conscientious objection, and that the provisions of the European Convention on Human Rights in relation to freedom of conscience and religion were not absolute.

Miss Doogan said she and Mrs Wood were ‘very disappointed’ with the verdict, which she said would have ‘very grave consequences for anyone of conscience who wishes to choose midwifery as a career.’

In her judgement, Lady Smith said the two midwives were ‘protected from having any direct involvement with the procedure to which they object.’

“Nothing they have to do as part of their duties terminates a woman’s pregnancy,” she said. “They are sufficiently removed from direct involvement as, it seems to me, to afford appropriate respect for and accommodation of their beliefs.”

John Deighan, the Scottish bishops’ parliamentary officer, said the judgement ‘should be very concerning to all of society.’

“We will need to look at this ruling very closely,” he said.

Comments - 2 Responses

  1. Geoffrey Smith says:

    So now Catholics are being forced out of another profession. First it was that of registrars. Then it was illegal to operate a boarding house that discriminated against gays. Now it’s the profession of midwifery, since Catholics will have no truck with abortion. Eventually there will be no place for us in this country, the country of our birth, and we may as well leave it and go and live in Arabia. We are virtually dhimmis in Britain, so life in Arabia could hardly be worse than it is here in this God-forsaken UK.

  2. GABY says:

    So nice of the judge to decide for the plaintiffs what are appropriate limits for their conscience. But then, it’s hardly THEIR conscience that’s being protected, is it?
    Is it true that the European Convention on Human Rights doesn’t hold “freedom of conscience and religion to be absolute”?

Leave a Reply

latest news

Year of consecrated life begins at the weekend

November 28th, 2014 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS

The Year of Consecrated life officially gets underway this weekend...


Last Gorsilaure appeal as project ends

November 28th, 2014 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS

After 15 years, charity announces that its ongoing commitments could...


Cardinal Nichols speaks about the devastation he witnessed in Gaza

November 28th, 2014 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS

Cardinal Vincent Nichols, Archbishop of Westminster, has said he was...


SCIAF calls for rights of the vulnerable to be at the heart of climate change deal

November 27th, 2014 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS

Governments will meet in Peru next month to discuss climate...




Social media

Latest edition

P1-NOV-28,-2014

exclusively in the paper

  • A total of 165 women gathered for the second annual St Margaret, Queen of Scots, ladies lunch for the joyful celebration of life and the launch of Campaign Life 2017.
  • Archbishop Leo Cushley called e religious life ‘a shining witness to the love of Christ’ during a visit to Dysart Carmel..
  • Pupils from Sr Monica’s Primary, Milton, brought the story of David and Goliath to life with an ecumenical service in Wellington Church, Glasgow, attended by Archbishop Philip Tartaglia.
  • Bishop Joseph Toal of Motherwell celebrated Mass at St Mary’s Parish in Lanark last Friday as a hospital chaplain Sr Marguerite Ford was honoured with a Bene Merenti medal.
  • John Deighan writes—Hubble and moral trouble: The light of the Christian message.

Previous editions

Previous editions of the Scottish Catholic Observer newspaper are only available to subscribed Members. To download previous editions of the paper, please subscribe.

note: registered members only.

Read the SCO